PhD student in Microbiology, Biogas production

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 30 Jun 2023

1 Jun 2023
Job Information

Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Research Field

Biological sciences » Biology
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

30 Jun 2023 - 22:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Reference Number

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

The Department of Molecular Sciences, SLU, Uppsala approximately 110 employees and together with two other departments formsan inspiring research environment at the BioCenter at the Ultuna campus in Uppsala. Here you will find expertise in plant biology, mycology, plant pathology, microbiology, food science, calculation-based genetics, chemistry and biotechnology and competitive infrastructure such as plant- growing facilities, advanced microscopy and molecular biology, x-ray and NMR. The department conducts research, teaching and environmental monitoring in the field of inorganic, physical and organic chemistry, biochemistry, natural productchemistry, food science and microbiology. Visit us at  

PhD student in Microbiology, Biogas production
Research subject: Biology

We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral student in the subject area anaerobic microbiology and biotechnology. The project focuses on increasing knowledge and find solutions to increase microbial degradation of acids and thus increase production of renewable energy in form of biogas. In biogas processes, acids are commonly broken down by microorganisms that carry out a so-called syntrophic collaboration (cross-feeding). These microorganisms are highly dependent on close physical contact between cells and many organisms have developed several smart mechanisms to cooperate with their partners in order to survive under stressed growth conditions.

In this project, the PhD student will explore mechanisms in mesophilic and thermophilic syntrophic cultures and thereby contribute to our ongoing research to increase knowledge of microbial interactions in high-ammonia biogas systems. The goal of the project is to determine the nutritional needs of the microorganisms, study chemical and microbial interactions and their importance for the microbial activity required for the conversion of acids into biogas. Metabolic modeling will be used to find possible ways to optimize their activity, which will then be analyzed in cultivation trials. The work will include anaerobic culture techniques, fluorescent in situ hybridization and advanced analytical methods such as nano-SIMS, electron microscopy and 13 C/15 N nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics. The overall goal is to increase the knowledge of syntrophic microorganisms that will be used to develop applicable tools to increase biogas productivity.

The PhD student will join the dynamic research group Anaerobic Microbial Biotechnology (AMB) at SLU in Uppsala under supervision of Dr. Maria Westerholm ( The supervisor group includes other researchers from SLU.


The successful candidate should have a master (or similar) in the area of microbiology or molecular/applied biotechnology. The candidate should be motivated with a strong interest in industrial biotechnology and microbiology. Documented experience of molecular work, bioinformatics and cultivation of strict anaerobic and syntrophic microorganisms is merit. Good command in the English language isa requirement. Great importance is also attached to personal qualities such as the ability to communicate and collaborate as well as ability to analyze and work independently.

Place of work:

Uppsala, Sweden

Form of employment: 

Employment as a PhD student 4 years 



Starting date:

According to agreement 


We welcome your application no later than 2023-07-01

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Research Field
Agricultural sciences
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent


Research Field
Agricultural sciences » Other
Years of Research Experience
4 - 10

Additional Information
Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Postal Code
Box 7015

Where to apply



Box 7015
Postal Code


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